Kazeria’s Discipline of the Shadows was first released in 2008 as a CDr limited to 50 copies. It was then re-released in 2012. I’m not familiar with the original so I can’t make any comparisons. Instead, this review will focus on the re-release.
The album places itself very much at the industrial end of the martial industrial genre. Growling synths and distorted electronic kick drums provide the base of the album’s sound, while orchestral horns and snare drums mix with the electronics to provide the martial element.
The album opens with Discipline of the Shadows (I), which combines solemn drumming and slow horns to create a dark, ominous intro. Some of the subsequent tracks, such as Wolfmarch and Control Feeds Hope, are faster-paced. On the whole, though, the pace of the tracks is generally slow and sombre, and the album maintains a consistently dark and oppressive atmosphere. Some tracks, such as Endwiderstand, have a decidedly funereal pace. The album ends with a reprise of the first track, closing the album with the same slow menacing atmosphere that it started with.
The sounds on the album are varied, with appearances from church organs, air raid sirens, and even the strumming of an acoustic guitar (albeit sampled from Triarii and Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio’s collaboration, Roses 4 Rome). Unsere Schwärzesten Seelen features some distorted and menacing vocals.
My major criticism of the album is that, on the whole, the tracks tend not to go anywhere. A few percussion sounds will be introduced, a two chord sequence will come in, and then they’ll repeat for a few minutes with maybe a little variation but not much progression. The two tracks that avoid this problem stand out from the rest of the album: Konflikt, with its dynamic build up, and The Rising of a New Utopia, with its more intricate melody.
Overall, the album has many strong points: a variety of sounds and techniques, but with a consistent style and theme, and occasional tracks, such as The Rising of a New Utopia, that stand out in quality. Unfortunately, most of the tracks are too repetitive and lack any sense of wonder or excitement that could really elevate the album. It’s a good album, but it’s solid and consistent rather than exceptional.